The Theatre Commander Joint Task Force “Operation Hadin Kai”, Maj. Gen Christopher Musa has urged Journalists covering insurgency in the North-east to always focus their reports towards peace building.
Musa made the call on Tuesday in Maiduguri while declaring open a Military-Media Parley organized by the Theatre in collaboration with Borno chapter of Correspondents Chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ).
Musa said that the military value the effective role of the media in educating and moulding the society, especially at this critical time in the fight against insurgency.
“This parley is an integral part of the non-kinetic approach, and the more reason why you need to achieve these objectives which you set for yourselves.
“Let me remind you that Nigeria remains the only country we have and we must therefore do everything within the law and ethics of your jobs to build, nurture and sustain peace.
“You must take ownership of these operations, our reportage must be geared towards building peace not merely for fulfilling editorial needs.
“You should begin to ask yourself. How does this report help in building peace in the North East,” Musa said.
The commander said that the parley should examine areas of challenges in reporting the ongoing counterinsurgency operation, gaps in civil-military relations, highlight areas of strength and what needed to be done to improve media coverage.
The theatre commander also spoke on the ongoing surrender of some insurgents and observed that most of the terrorists were tired of the war.
“It is clear that many of the terrorists too are tired of fighting, they are hungry and wish to leave the life they lived in the bush.
“This is why thousands of combatants and non-combatants Boko Haram are now surrendering. It is one sure way of bringing peace to the North East.
“The military authority led by the Chief of Defence Staff, is committed to end this war.
“The Chief of Army Staff and all Service Chiefs are working harmoniously to ensure the region enjoy peace.
“Let’s play our own part and time will come when we ask ourselves what role did I play in bringing peace, succour to this society,” Musa added.
In his remarks, the General Officer Commanding 7 Division Maiduguri, who is also the Commander Sector 1 of Operation Hadinkai, Brig.-Gen. A. A Eyitayo, lauded the relationship between the military and media in Borno and called for its sustenance.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the parley which has the theme: “Building Stronger Military-Media Synergy for Peace Building in North East”, was attended by journalists and public relations officers of security agencies in the state
Papers presented at the parley include, “Conflict Zone: Imperative of Journalists/Information Managers’ Partnership for Peace Building” and “De-weaponisation Media Reportage of the Counter-Insurgency Operations in Northeast”. (NAN)